Councilor Mael’s Victory: His Parking Lot Proposal May Make Sense

Thursday, January 9, 2014
By Transcript Staff

Councilor Craig Mael’s made a motion to “have a discussion” about his proposal — which he first unveiled in December — for the possible renting or leasing of parking spaces in town parking lots. Mael’s interesting idea certainly struck a chord with his colleagues on the Council who offered some strong opinions about the concept. It was exactly the response that Craig likely was hoping for as he seeks to create a new source of revenue for the town.

Would residents pay for the privilege of having their own parking space for as much as one year’s time? As you’ve probably read, Boston residents pay a considerable sum of money for some parking spaces, so there would definitely be an interest in taking a serious look at Craig’s idea to alleviate some Winthrop parking concerns, such as the lack of parking on Grovers Avenue that he alluded to in his remarks.

President Peter Gill and the Council certainly will want to take a more in-depth look at Craig’s idea and the proposal will be reviewed by the DPW Committee and likely move on from there. We can understand the questions and suggestions that were forthcoming from the councilors — and we must say we admired Councilor Paul Varone’s statement that he wants to hold a meeting with residents of his precinct so they can speak out about the proposal before a vote is taken by the Council. Councilor Russell Sanford offered some good suggestions as the leader of the Economic Development Committee, while Councilor-at-Large Philip Boncore correctly pointed out that all revenues from Mael’s parking plan would have to go into the town’s General Fund, as opposed to targeting the monies for a particular department.

Police Chief Terence Delehanty and Fire Chief Paul Flanagan will no doubt want to weigh in on the safety aspect of the proposal and the effect it would have during snow emergencies when people move their cars into some of these lots.

Craig Mael has been a refreshing member of the Town Council, often presenting ideas that are “outside the box.” If his goal was to generate a hearty discussion about his plan and advance it to the next level, Craig is celebrating a victory today for what looks like a reasonable idea for the town of Winthrop.

We give Craig Mael an “A” for effort and originality.

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